The Cyclones survived a near fatal collapse after a frantic last-minute surge by the Horned Frogs. Iowa State turned TCU over 27 times, a Big 12 record, and still only skated away with a one-point win.
I half-jokingly called this a ‘Curtis Jones legacy game’ but the Buffalo transfer delivered. In his first start of his Cyclone career, due to the injured Tamin Lipsey, he finished with 17 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and an aforementioned Lipsey number of steals: 7.
Keshon Gilbert stepped up as well, leading the Cyclones in scoring with 20 points. Demarion Watson also served some invaluable minutes on the defensive side of the ball and going after rebounds on the glass.
Road wins are not going to be too easy to come by in this conference. Iowa State learned that lesson in Provo. Credit to this team for losing their floor general and rallying around his departure rather than rolling over.
This was a classic ‘defense travels’ kind of game. You can make some mental errors, be a little shaky down the stretch, when you take 27 shot attempts off the board for the opposing team. Iowa State really looked like one of the premier defenses in all of college basketball today.
They say defense wins championships; it also wins road games in Fort Worth. Up next, the Cyclones have a crucial four game stretch. A pair of home games against Kansas State (Wednesday) and Kansas (Saturday on CBS). After that, two road games at Baylor and Texas. We’ll have a clear picture on where Iowa State stands in the Big 12 hierarchy in 14 days.